Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

Popular Culinary Traditions in Paris

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When you visit the streets of Paris, you might just be blown away by the many delicious foods available. Parisian cuisine and traditional restaurants are popular with many people across the globe. From baguettes to the bistro, this is an excellent place to visit to stimulate your taste buds. 

Basic Information to Know About French Food

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If you are new to the idea of French food, you are in for a treat. Many foreigners don’t even have any idea what the traditional foods in France are. Anybody who is completely new to the wide range of local cuisines should check out this page describing what makes French cuisine so special.  

baguette to bistro culinary traditions of Paris

Take Classes to Learn How to Make French Food

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There are many baking classes in Paris, including a French bread and baguette class. Another popular option is a macarons class in Paris. Typically, classes will start and end within one day and teach you many different tricks of the trade. Depending on which class you choose, you can either learn about what you would find in a French patisserie, how to make your favorite main course, dessert, and so on.

Different Classic Cuisines

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You shouldn’t travel here and expect the same food that you find in your home country. The food is unique and diverse. For example, you might find a restaurant menu which serves wonderful soups and appetizers, delicious bread and pastries, and various types of juicy meat and popular seafood catches. All prepared with a unique touch by one of the local chefs. 

Many tourists are also blown away by the many different types of cheeses there. The country is home to several varieties of cheeses that are not easily found using online resources. In other words, this is one of the best-kept secrets. It is a popular dish which is served after meals with several different varieties.

Another thing tourists might find interesting about the food here is that raw meat is a popular dish on occasion. When prepared correctly, raw meat can both be very safe and satisfying to your hunger. As their local chefs would teach you, the right preparation for raw meat is crucial if you want to get the best experience possible.

How Daily Meals Typically Work in France

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In France, many locals will eat a light breakfast which focuses on coffee (or another hot beverage) with a croissant or another similar pastry. They then save their appetite for lunch and dinner. One thing which is wonderful about the country is that lunch breaks will be around two hours long so that they can truly enjoy our meal and time off. Dinner is also about as long and has three courses (hors-d'oeuvres, main course, and then a final course which is either a plate of different cheeses or dessert).

Savory Hors-D’Oeuvres

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There are many classic starter dishes that you will find at just about any restaurant in Paris. Many chefs will create their own rendition of the following recipes, making them difficult to get sick of. However, there are also endless starters which simply do not get the recognition they deserve. Regardless, here are a couple of France's finest starter dishes.

French Onion Soup

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This is a classic recipe which balances cheese, beef broth, onions, and seasoning with bread on the side to create a delicious soup which is cherished all over the globe. Although this is typically served as a starter dish, it can also be made in bigger sizes to suit someone who only wants to eat soup as their meal. This soup, although savory, is perhaps more popular with tourists than the locals. 


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This is a popular starter that was historically only eaten by the rich and wealthy. They are land snails which are normally cooked with a seasoning like butter and garlic and are typically rather small. As a result, you will need to eat a lot of them if you wish to have anything more than a starter dish of escargots. They are typically taken out of the shell after being boiled and then placed back into the shell for serving with flavored butter.

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Only the Best Main Courses

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Local main courses are a nice balance between local and foreign cuisines. There are plenty of dishes which have been kept in their tradition for centuries. However, there are also some main courses which were learned from France's friends worldwide. Here is a couple of the many main courses that were invented locally.

Coq Au Vin

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This main course dates back to ancient times and is made with chicken, mushrooms, garlic, lardons, and wine on the top. When mixed together, it produces a perfect blend of ingredients which became a popular dish all across the modern country. It has since spread to other countries.

Steak Tartare

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This is a bistro classic which really should be left to the professionals. Since steak tartare can be made with raw beef, it can be risky to make on your own. Although this might be served as a starter dish, it also serves as a wonderful main course.

Delicious Pastries

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Pastries in this country are unlike anything else you can find anywhere else. There are tons and tons of different varieties of pastries that it is simply impossible to list them all. However, here are a couple types of pastries that everybody loves and enjoys on a continual basis.


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Croissants are a popular breakfast item. Since they are rather complicated for a beginner cook to make, many will buy them off the streets at local bakeries and dip them inside their coffee for breakfast. There are some which are served with butter, almonds, chocolate and so on. Since they can be adapted to many different types of flavors, they can also be a great part of any meal outside of breakfast.


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Made with soft cookie style shells pressed together onto cream to make a sandwich, some people travel to Paris just to try some of the macarons. They can be prepared to be fruity, sweet, minty, or really sort of flavor that you would expect. These are another treats which are perhaps more popular with foreign tourists than locals. 

Baguettes for Everything

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This is a classic bread-based product which has been kept around in French tradition for centuries. Since it so affordable and delicious, they use baguettes for just about anything. They can be a prominent part of any meal, and used for a wide variety of potential dishes.

Baguettes as a Side

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A typical restaurant in Paris might serve unlimited baguettes for free. As a result, you should take advantage of this incredible deal. If you have some extra sauce on your starter or main dish, dip your baguettes in and enjoy every drop of your meal to the fullest extent.

Baguettes for your Sandwich

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Baguettes are also typically used for sandwiches due to their long size which can easily be adapted to create a sandwich. You can serve sandwich with smoked salmon and avocados, for example, and just about whatever you want on the inside when you cut it open horizontally. Additionally, you could simply purchase a takeaway sandwich made with baguettes at various different restaurants in Paris.

Endless Types of Cheese

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Much how there are many different French pastries, there are also countless different varieties of cheese. Since this is a delicacy very seriously taken here, you will find cheeses on local stores here that you simply cannot find in any other country. Most cheeses will be either pressed, soft, or blue. Here are a couple types you should consider trying if you travel to Paris. 


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This is a soft type, which is almost like yogurt at the beginning of its transformation. Made with solely unpasteurized milk, camembert is unique and heavily worth trying if you are a fan of trying new recipes and food products. This has been a popular recipe for centuries and remains as one of the most popular in the country today.

Brie de Meaux

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Once named the “king of cheeses” in 1815 by a cohort of European nations, this recipe is a French masterpiece. Made from cow milk which is aged a couple months or so, this is a popular brie cheese which can be easily spotted out by its white rind.

World-Class Alcoholic Beverages

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Some of the best alcoholic beverages can also be found in France. Since these are popular things to have with a lunch and dinner meal there, they really do their best to craft world-class alcoholic beverages so that anybody who comes to Paris is blown away by the wide collection of tasty drinks. Here are a couple of drinks that you should absolutely try while visiting Paris.


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They have been making wine for over 2000 years over there. As a result, many of the ancient practices first described by their distant ancestors have remained and spread throughout the globe. Of course, this is a popular beverage around the world with many different types and methods for making. However, it is regardless something that is heavily worth trying if you intend to visit.


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This is a spirit made in locally in the country. Wonderfully mixed together with licorice root herbs or mixing base, this drink has a unique taste. Although it is sometimes associated with absinthe, this beverage is not made from the same herb. They are also much different in the end composition. This is an excellent beverage that anyone should at least try.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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More About Our Baguettes Classes

Getting a bit technical during our Baguette Class in Paris

The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece.  But in our Baguette Class in Paris  you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.

Learning more during your Baguette class in Paris: Croque Monsieur Bread and Brioche

This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...

And you might learn some history during your Baguette Class in Paris

While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.

More About Our Wine and Cheese Lunch in Paris

Cheese and Wine in Paris

The pleasures we can derive from French cuisine can seem endless.  However two of the best known and loved French gastronomic heroes are French cheese and wine. Whether we talk about a Brie which actually comes from very close to Paris, to a creamy Camembert from Normandy, or a Comté from the Alps, French cheese has a delight for all palates. And of course, French wines are even better known whether from Bordeaux great wines or Burgundy sophisticated whites – all of which enthral wine lovers.  Well, at our course on cheese and wine in Paris you will come to appreciate that although each is delicious on its own, properly matched cheese and wine together can make the experience of each even more enjoyable and an absolute delight.

How to pair French cheese and wine

Because not all pairings are actually what people expect, at Le Foodist we have decided to call these experiences 'Daring Pairings'. Maybe because we like to step out of the ordinary to challenge our taste buds, but really all we try to do is give you the perfect match fo cheese and wine in Paris.  So not only will you learn how to select the best wine to go with your cheese, but you will also learn what are the big cheese families in France – there are actually only five, and this is one of the keys to great pairing. In discovering all these pairings of cheese with wine you will be convinced that indeed two things together can be better than the sum of their parts.

It is important to have fun with pairing cheese and wine in Paris

Beyond the tastings though, we have found that the best way to help our clients remember and re-use their experience is to vary the way to approach both wine and cheese.  That is why during our courses on cheese and wine in Paris we share sensory games and many an anecdote to bring the produce to life in your mind as well as on your palate. Overall we will feature four excellent wines, one Champagne and demonstrate to you how best each combines with cheese, letting your taste guide you along with our teaching.

Understanding cheese and wine pairing while in Paris

While for many top Parisian wine stores and restaurant wine lists can be confusing and even intimidating, we believe that after our lunch learning how to pair cheese and wine in Paris, you will feel much more comfortable navigating all of those.  And we sincerely hope your knowledge will help you unlock a door to a whole new world of enjoyment of French wine and cheese pairing.  At every step of the way our sommelier will also share unique tips and tricks to understand wines better and how culture and wine are so related in France; hopefully enriching your own experience as well.

And they do not have to do with what you will find in those markets. They have to do with when you can go shopping there. Open Air markets are only open in the morning. Typically from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. And they are not open every day. As a matter of fact for the vast majority they are open either open every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), or sometimes only twice a week. 

This is the case of the Bastille Market (Metro Bastille and Metro Bréguet Sabin )which is open only on Thursday and Sunday morning. We like to send people there because it is a very big market with over one hundred vendors. And it has a nice stand of Crêperie in the middle. Here you get a video of a lady preparing a crêpe there; and you can get that crêpe for only 3 Euros!
There is only one Open Air market open every day of the week, it is called Marché Aligre (Metro Ledru Rollin or Metro Faidherbe Chaligny) which happens on the eponymous street. It is an interesting market because you find all kinds of quality in that market – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also a nice covered market in the middle of it called Marché Beauveau – sometimes called Marché Beauveau Aligre. On the contrary, Covered Markets are open every day, and not just in the morning, but also in the late afternoon. Typically from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are blessed with two markets close to where Le Foodist is located, so we can walk to a market every morning – sometimes it is the Maubert market, and sometimes it is the Monge market. Both nice with their own specififies. Last but not least, none of these markets is open on Monday. Do not sign-up for a Market Tour on Monday, you might never see that money again …

Choosing Ingredients in Paris

While all markets are different, they also have some things in common. First they work on specific schedules as explained before. But also you will find always at a minimum the following vendors: a Maraîcher – this is the name we give to people selling fruits and vegetables, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesemonger and a baker. Normally you will find several of each, with different levels of quality, organic or non-organic, local or not local (but mostly not local unfortunately).
And we explain how to recognize each of those of course during our Market Visits and Cooking Classes in Paris. But choosing ingredients can be daunting at first, because of the variety that is on display. A typical fishmonger will carry 20 different types of fishes, and as many shrimp and shelf fish varieties. A good cheese monger will easily carry up to 100 different types of cheese and obviously you could get over 100 different cuts of meat at a butcher (from the type of meat to the cut itself). And a normal Maraicher will carry between 50 and 100 fruits and vegetables as well.
This is what makes these markets so exciting – the variety of products, the beauty of their display, and the exchange you can have with most of the vendors. We give you tips though on how to make sure that exchange with the vendors go well – a few magic words, and everything will be fine!

Cooking in Paris

Obviously going to markets is nice, but actually knowing that you are going to cook what you find there is even more exciting. It is not uncommon for Parisians to buy a little bit too much food because they get so excited at the idea of cooking it all! But as most of us have hardly any space where we live, that can limit the enthusiasm sometimes. Because of the lack of space, Cooking in Paris can be quite different from cooking in the rest of France. And there are also dishes that are typically associated with regions which the Parisian will not cook at home – but taste when they visit friends or families in the various regions of France. However our kitchen has plenty of space, so we can cook traditional French dishes without a problem – whether they come from Paris or any region. And the most important part for us is to ensure that we share techniques much more than just recipes. As a matter of fact, we love to share a bit of the science behind what we do so people can better remember the “what” by understanding the “why”.

Sharing Stories

In November 2010, some experts from the UN cultural organisation, decided tha France’s multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the “world intangible list” of the UNESCO.
In this list you can find all kinds of cultural practices, including Mexico Day of the Dead festival for example. Importantly this is not suggesting French cuisine is better than other cuisines (even though we the French tend to believe that …). It is only saying that the gastronomic meal and what it entails is a very vivid cultural practice which people in France partake into on a very regular basis. That is why the same experts indicated that the French gastronomic meal is a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. And in that social custom, there are many parts: the attention we pay to the way we choose ingredients, how we pair wine with food, how many dishes we will present to our guests, how we lay the table, etc… But one big part of the cultural practice is that commensality (the fact of sharing the food) is always accompanied by sharing stories about …. Well, you would have guessed it, Food of course!
To us it is THE perfect example of how Food and Culture come together – actually we decide to share food is a considered a cultural practice. I would argue that it is true of all countries, regions, etc… As the way we relate to Food is such a big part of anybody’s identity. But as a result and to make sure you have the most genuine experience of French culture, after the a coking class in Paris at Le Foodist, you will share a gastronomic meal at a common table with your Chef and fellow participants to the class.

French Wine and Food Pairing

As mentioned above, one of the big cultural practices in France is choosing how to pair Wine and Food in general and Wine and Cheese in particular. We actually have a class which focuses specifically on this. As it is so important though, we always make sure we share white and red wines during our meals, chosen to pair well in our opinion with the food we cook. And being at the table together is a good opportunity to discuss about wine as well, with concepts such as “terroir” (to simplify, terroir means “what you do depends on where you are”) which are essential to grasp the way the French think about Food.
And all this will always go with a cheering “Santé” – which quite simply means, to your good health!

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